I'm a packaging and brand designer with 8+ years of corporate retail experience in my back pocket, 2 cats at my feet, and a passion for helping product based businesses stand out and generate buzz around their brand through strategic design.
Aaisha Khokhar Smiley reached out to us with her business dream back in November of 2020. She told us everything she wished existed in the beauty industry and we quickly realized her growing passion to specifically change the nail care industry for the better. At the time, Aaisha was working with a chemist, testing out formulas for a vegan nail serum to launch herself into the industry. Enter Khokhar, a vegan beauty brand.
As soon as we met Aaisha, we knew we wanted to be a part of her journey. Her passion for nail health and her product was clearly evident! After just one conversation, she even sent me a sample of her product so I could try it for myself. And let me tell ya, the results were AMAZING! In just 3 days my nails went from brittle and scratched from my post-gel manicure to smooth and clean. Not only did I believe in her passion for her business but now I had firsthand experience of the power of her product to make a real impact in the clean beauty space.
“We decided to work with WildHive Studio because of a trusted referral and because our initial meeting was very informative. Communication is key to all relationships and you sold yourself on future work by always communicating and answering what was asked. It was great to have explanations of why so that we understood the process somewhat and it felt like you actually cared about the brand.”
– Shayah, CoFounder of Khokhar
Aaisha and her husband Shayah wanted expert-level help to design her premiere product packaging, website, and social media presence. Aaisha knew the importance of professional design and strategy when it came to a successful launch so it was important to her that each stage of the process was done professionally. She wanted to amaze the world with her debut nail serum so she could continue to expand her nail health product collection and create the greatest impact possible in the nail health space.
Hoping to make a real impact in the world of nail health, we began by crafting an honest message: How many people are secretly living with nails that have been destroyed by the harsh practices of our beloved mani-pedis and so much more?
With such an alarming lack of clean beauty regimens to help people properly care for their nails, the Khokhar Nail Serum rose from the ashes of an old family recipe with Ayurvedic roots — backed by science and designed to promote healthy, glowing nails.
We took time and care during the research phase of this project so we could truly and deeply understand Khokhar’s intended audience and how to reach them with both impactful words and stunning visuals.
From the beginning, it was extremely important to Aaisha that the product be comprised of clean, natural ingredients and ethically made. For this reason, we were aiming her nail serum toward women seeking to enhance their nail care rituals in a way that felt honest and healthy. To take it one step further, we wanted to make sure the product appealed to Western markets while staying true to Khokhar’s Southeast Asian roots.
There is a lack of natural and effective remedies for better nail health on the market. For people wanting to prioritize their money with clean and vegan beauty brands, the options are even fewer.
Aaisha also stressed that for Muslim women in particular, there are not many nail products that are considered Halal, or “permissible”, and therefore cannot be worn during prayer. Khokhar’s nail serum would be one of very few products on the market that are breathable enough to be worn.
Keeping the audience and our goals in mind, WildHive designed a modern, feminine color palette and paired it with a symbol commonly used on Punjab Phulkari, which literally translates into ‘flower work’ and is sewn into the fabric using silk thread. This way we were able to craft a brand identity that would appeal to a broader market while telling the story of Khokhar’s Punjab roots.
For the packaging and website design we wanted to focus on creating a luxurious and natural look through a minimal yet intentional aesthetic. We chose our words, images, and design elements carefully as to make the most of the space and give the viewer a seamless experience.
Based on the price point and clean nature of the ingredients, we built a brand experience that reflected elegance, high-quality, and luxurious self-care.
With this strategy, we designed three concepts, each seeking the perfect balance between Eastern and Western culture. We landed on a design that innately reflects the Punjabi roots while selecting a more modern color palette to create a brand that would look to the future without abandoning the foundations that set it apart. The fonts chosen were strong and elegant with delicate features to appeal to high-end markets and reflect the higher price point.
We crafted a website to reflect the luxe nature of the products while furthering the overall brand experience. The website is minimal, refined, and spacious to give the visitor a glimpse into the calming ritual of this self-care brand. The website showcases more BTS information about the cultural roots of the product as well as the all-natural ingredients used to make it highly effective.
In order to strike the perfect mood for the website, we relied on our encompassing brand strategy to plan the photography direction for the photoshoot. The website’s photography was taken by Aina Kumar and art directed on-site by Mashia of Studio Mash.
Copy-writing for the website was done by Studio Mash, using the foundation of strategy that we had built to ensure a seamless flow between the design and copy elements.
As the website was being developed, we crafted a custom launch plan and Instagram strategy for Khokhar so that they could confidently debut on social media. We created a variety of Instagram Templates for both the feed and stories to make planning and posting less time-consuming for the client. We also came up with a comprehensive list of hashtags to help her reach her ideal target audience without all the guesswork.
Our favorite part of this project was DEFINITELY creating the beautiful packaging design for this product. At WildHive Studio, packaging is our specialty so naturally, we were buzzing to dive into creating the product label and box.
Since the name of the game was minimal & luxurious, we created a box for each of the two fragrances with a tonal floral print adorning the sides. This also left us space to tell KHOKHAR’s story on the side of the box and keep the customer engaged as they look at the box from all sides.
While managing the website development, Studio Mash and I went to work on the Instagram Strategy for a successful launch! Here’s a look at the graphic templates I created to help Khokhar make a strong and lasting first impression in their online space.
In the end, our strategy, design, and cooperation created a unique and powerful brand and product design that is ready to bring new life into the nail health beauty space!
Check out more stunning images of this project on the KHOKHAR portfolio page below.
“Our favorite part about working with WildHive Studio was the design processes and their ability to review the designs and then be able to incorporate the components that we loved without being so rigid (pick design 1 or design 2 hard stop). As you can see that came out with the PERFECT logo and branding, it really helps to be able to be flexible but also not just do whatever the client says and have a bad design.”
– Shayah, CoFounder of Khokhar
Credit Where Credit is Due:
Brand Messaging, Website Copywriting, & Social Media Strategy: Studio Mash
Brand Photography: Aina Kumar
Brand Design, Packaging Design, Website Design, & Quality Assurance: WildHive Studio
Social Media Strategy, Design, & Templates: WildHive Studio
Whitney is an expert brand and packaging designer with 8+ years of industry experience. She creates strategic, results-driven brand and packaging design for product based businesses so they can stand out, connect deeply, and sell more.